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MINDENMINES, Mo. (AP) - A homely bird with a rather unappetizing diet will get its due when a southwest Missouri state park celebrates International Vulture Awareness Day.
The Carthage Press reports the staff at Prairie State Park in western Barton County has planned several activities for Saturday's observance, most of them aimed at children.
Vulture Awareness Day was started by bird conservation groups in England and South Africa. It's now observed by zoos, wildlife centers and other organizations around the world.
Prairie State Park specialist Dana Hoisington says vultures help keep the environment healthy by feasting on dead animals that other carnivores are unable to eat.
Along with vulture-related projects, park employees hope to attract a real vulture or two Saturday by placing a ripe carcass a careful distance from the visitors' center.
CHICAGO (AP) - The president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is retiring next year.
Chamber chairman Ray Drake says Douglas Whitley announced his retirement plans at the chamber board's quarterly meeting on Thursday. Whitley has had the position for 12 years and says he will leave the chamber in June. Whitley is 63.
Drake says the chamber's board will embark on a nationwide search to replace Whitley. Drake says Whitley has given the board enough time to find a new president and prepare before next year's election for Illinois governor.
A Police K-9 unit is being credited for catching a suspect who had led police on a 20 mile-long chase.
Around 10 PM Wednesday an officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen from Evansville, Indiana. The officer followed the car through north county along I-270 to west county. The suspect eventually noticed the officer following him and increased his speed.
The suspect eventually abandoned his car in Fenton and tried to run away. A K-9 unit bit the man and subdued him. An officer was also bitten during the struggle and received treatment at a nearby hospital.
Police say the suspect may be connected to a series of car break-ins across St. Louis.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is concerned for the safety of St. Louisans if state lawmakers override one of Governor Jay Nixon's vetoes.
One of the bills they are examining is HB436, the "Second Amendment Preservation Act". The bill would, in part, make it illegal for federal authorities to enforce any federal gun control laws. Local and State police would be responsible for arresting any involved federal agents.
Mayor Slay says overriding the veto would be irresponsible, "this is an insult to police officers and law enforcement statewide. This is anti-cop."
Slay credits local cooperation with ATF agents for a surge that resulted in hundreds of criminals and illegal guns being taken off the street. Under the new law, Slay says those federal agents would have been arrested and the criminals could even file lawsuits against the individual members of the ATF . When asked what passing a bill like this into law would mean for the reputation of St. Louis, Slay did not mince words.
"My biggest concern is what impact it is going to have on law enforcement and public safety. But this would be an embarrassment for our state", Slay said.
Lawmakers meet on September 11 to determine which bills they will take up in an override session.
Some good news for one area school district.
For the fourth year in-a-row, the Lindbergh School District ranked tops in academic achievement in Missouri.
State education officials used data from the MAP test results to create the rankings. Students in the district in grades K-12 excelled in communication arts and math. Lindbergh High School had the highest score of any school in English-language arts. And three of Lindbergh's elementary schools ranked in the top 10 schools in the state.
The impressive performance led Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to label the district "Accredited with Distinction".
An O'Fallon Missouri woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling from a north St. Louis county bank. Thirty three year old Janelle Earley is charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from St. Johns Bank. The court's decision was handed down yesterday. Authorities say Earley embezzled the money between 2011 and this year.
Good news for Missouri electric customers. Residents should soon see a small decrease in their monthly bill. Missouri regulators have adopted a lower fuel adjustment tariff that should reduce bills for Ameren Missouri customers. The Public Service Commission says the decrease amounts to about $1.97 per month for residential customers and goes into effect September 24.
If you live in Overland or vicinity, you may want to attend a meeting tonight with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal regulators will discuss plans to cleanup industrial waste in Overland where contaminated groundwater lingers from a 25-year-old industrial accident. In 1988 a spill at a metal facility caused groundwater contamination from the chemical trichloroethylene, or T-C-E. The EPA says it will share details from recent indoor air samples taken at several Elmwood Park homes as well as future cleanup plans by the property's owners. Property owner PerkinElmer Inc., which bought the property after the spill occurred, will clean up the land under a 2012 settlement agreement.
St. Charles city police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman whose body was recovered in the Missouri River. The 38-year-old victim was reported missing Tuesday night and her body was found about 1 a.m. Wednesday. Police found her vehicle at Ed Bales Park in the 23-hundred block of North Main St. . Police have not released the victim's name and a cause of death has not been determined.
September is Emergency Preparedness Month and Metro Transit is teaming up with the Red Cross to offer the public tips on how to survive an emergency. Representatives from both organizations were handing out emergency pamphlets to commuters at the Shrewsbury Metrolink station Thursday. Metro spokeswoman Patti Beck says being prepared is the key to surviving an emergency...
"You need to be prepared for anything," Beck said. "From fire, flooding, earthquake, tornado...anything and everything. There could be a chemical spill or even a hazardous waste spill."
The Red Cross suggests keeping an emergency kit handy, stocked with water, food, flashlights, medications, blankets, and of course...a batter-powered radio.